China imposed sanctions on 28 individuals from the United States, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for their alleged selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against the people of China.
The imposition of sanctions on Trump administration officials was announced as Joe Biden was being sworn in as the new US president on Wednesday, ending Donald Trump’s four-year reign.
According to a statement from China’s foreign ministry, those sanctioned also include Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs David Stilwell, health secretary Alex Azar and UN envoy Kelly Craft.
Beijing also sanctioned former Trump national security adviser John Bolton and former adviser Stephen Bannon. The statement said:
These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland of China, Hong Kong and Macao.
They, and companies and institutions associated with them, are also restricted from doing business with China.
In a tweet shortly after the Chinese statement, Bolton said he accepted the “prestigious recognition” for what he called his unrelenting efforts to defend American freedom.
Biden’s National Security Council called the move “unproductive and cynical”, and “an attempt to play to partisan divides.”